High Water Collection

Written by Charli Mills

Charli Mills, a born buckaroo, makes literary art accessible at CarrotRanch.com. She writes about the veteran spouse experience and women forgotten to history.

May 12, 2023

Welcome to Carrot Ranch Literary Community where creative writers from around the world and across genres gather to write 99-word stories. A collection of prompted 99-word stories reads like literary anthropology. Diverse perspectives become part of a collaboration.

We welcome encouraging comments. You can follow writers who link their blogs or social media.

Those published at Carrot Ranch are The Congress of Rough Writers.

High Water by Joanne Fisher

It was called High Water: a deep blue liquid that gave a higher state of consciousness. Some users became aware of the web of life surrounding them, and having previously felt cut-off, became more connected to it. Others found themselves wandering around the cosmos among the stars…

The Authorities, of course, wouldn’t stand for this, and so stamped out its usage wherever they could find it. However, those who became reconnected to nature continued a deeper symbiosis with everything around them, while others gained a more profound understanding of the Universe’s workings. Not even the Authorities could stop that.


Beware the Nibiinaabe by Colleen M. Chesebro

Along the river where the ancient one’s sleep, the rise and fall of the high water follows the path of the white orb’s ascension into the night sky.

“The old mother is breathing,” say the elders.

“Watch out for the Nibiinaabe,” say our mothers.

On nights when the moon is full and the water high, water sprites rise from the river’s depths to sing ballads to coax the weary travelers to join them below.

The Nibiinaabe wear their hair long and below their waist’s sparkle silver scales.

If you see them, clap your hands! Loud noises frighten them away!


The Flood by C. E. Ayr

It’s been raining non-stop for almost six weeks now.
The valleys and fields are long flooded, but still we frolic on the hilltops.
We don’t care about getting wet, and we have to run free.
Even more than the great cats, the dancing gazelles, the mighty buffalo, we treasure our liberty.
Almost every other creature has succumbed to his promises, but we don’t believe him.
We see the messages left in the stones as they search everywhere.
But we’ll never be caged in a boat, no matter what Noah says.
We are different.
We are special.
We are unicorns.


Ocean Blue Sky by Sweeter Than Nothing

Maya smiled as she drifted along on a cloud in a sea of ocean blue sky, up above the world so high, without a care in sight she luxuriated in soft starlight.

A pink dolphin crashed through her cloud making her laugh as it span and span just for her before disappearing back into the depths of the sky below her.

Jellyfish bobbed and dipped and ebbed along with her as she wafted up and down.

In the distance, a pirate ship let loose a cannon in a flash of thunder and lightning.

Back on earth, her coma continued…


Dramatically Different by Reena Saxena

They are penalized for driving into forbidden territory. The sky does not like intruders. It’s already bent at the horizon with the weight of planetary motion, and satellites only serve to increase the load.

There was no concept of building capacity when the drama started with a bang, and has not stopped ever since.

It’s not about hell or high water, but the crowds thronging the gates to Heaven – without even knowing what’s inside.

Meanwhile, fire and ether struggle to reconstitute themselves. Species on planets have cloned themselves in different formats.

The drama of self-programmed extinction will follow soon.


Biding Time by Sadje

Lying on its side the small fishing boat is biding time. When the tide come in and it’s high water, the waves will lift her, right her, and make her ready to sail again.

Till then it quietly tolerates the jibes and taunts of bigger boats, the yachts, and the sailboats who strut through the sea waves and look disdainful at her.

When she is in the sea, rowed by the strong arms of her master, there is no one to touch her in dexterity or the amount of fish she brings in. She’s the ‘Sea Queen’ after all!


Dropping Away by Shari Marshall

I watch it rise, the bottom seemingly dropping away. It’s a semitransparent blue, deceiving in its deadliness. Its apparent transparency is a trick of nature to draw in unsuspecting prey because although you can see the immediate area before you the vastness of its reach is extraordinary. The immensity allows undetectable threats to surface or swarm. But it calls to you, a siren song promising cool refreshingness. And it can provide either fun or relaxation depending on your need. Your subconscious whispers, the tide is rising. Don’t go deeper! Heedless, you jump with both feet into the high water.


In Heaven And Hell by Hugh W. Roberts

Amid the chaos of the rising floodwaters, Anne and Fiona found themselves stranded on a rooftop.

They’d been strangers before, but now they clung to each other for survival.

As the water crept closer, they discussed their lives and dreams, finding unexpected commonalities. They shared stories of heartbreak and triumph. It wasn’t long before they silently fell in love with each other.

They spent the night on the rooftop, holding each other tightly as the water raged below.

When the rescue boats arrived, they stepped into a new world, hand in hand, ready to face whatever came their way.


And Then The Dutch by Geoff Le Pard

After selling Gouda futures led to their exile, a group of Dutch miscreants reached Little Tittweaking. Their descendant, the footwear entrepreneur, Kit Ten Heels was close to death, her soul worn out and her staff ancient: a load of old cobblers in fact. She approached her last, a present from her father for her 21st, and was assaulted by another attack of the sorrows. The only thing to do with sorrows was to drown them. She left her money to the High Water society to use its resources to end the scourge of recurrent sorrows. Content, she left for heel.


Astronomical Aquatic Assessment Blues by Bill Engleson

“It ain’t exactly Venice.
speakin’ of a high-water menace.”
Farmer Joe knew of what he spoke,
Rivers risin’, beaver dam broke.

I really wanted to play tennis
down in the holler where we once grew lettuce;
Leafy greens, full-bodied, two feet tall,
Tennis, maybe Pickleball.

Waters risin’, that’s a sure enough fact.
Hope it’s an ungodly act.
Paid the beavers in purloined beaver pelts
not thinkin’ of the high mountain melts.

I ain’t Sam Clemens or old Mark Twain-
only water I favor’s a shower of rain.
99 word’s all I am allowed;
Oops, here come another darn cloud.


How is the High Water? Duane L Herrmann

With a grandbaby a few months old, I went on a trip with the family. We stopped at Rock Bridge State Park, where my daughter (now mother) and her brother had enjoyed playing as children. There is a wooden walkway among tree tops and a deep, very cold hole at the mouth of a cave that circles back to the hole. The cave has a stream. My daughter and her sons went into the cave. I stayed outside with the baby. Young men came out from the other side with clothes drenched. How much water, I asked. “Nipple deep.”


Downed Crown Water Bound by JulesPaige

Gonna have some high water with ’bout six days straight of rain. And before that mighty winds knocked a tree all the way across the creek. So far no clogs, not sure if that deflated soccer ball, (not Wilson from the stranded island fame) has made it over the lower trunk part.

a maze of branches
in partial leafing, sag with
murky water weight

We’re gonna haveta ‘Science the heck’ out of fishing that tree outta the creek. Hooking up winches, come-a-longs, via battery and man power. Once the wood dries maybe we can burn it in the hearth.


Stuck by Simon

The Ship was coming
Closer to the land
Slowly her racing heart
Calms down like cold water
Tired eyes began to glow
Rising hope under moon light
Light of hope, a sign of her Life coming
On it’s way, her life, her hope, her everything
Oh wait! Where is her Flag of Hope?
There! The flag waving like it has life
White and bright like beautiful daisy
She began preparing medicines
To apply on the dried wounds
Her Son will remember the war
She will remember the days
Of hope, love, the only wish
To see her son alive.


Romancing the Bridge by Charli Mills

The small-town newspaper splashed Clay’s image across the front page. The headline reads, “Local Veteran Saves Bridge.” He stood in the freezing trickle of water. High water and pressure built up behind a wall of fragmented ice. An early Montana thaw caught beneath the bridge. In the photo, he holds a crowbar overhead, biceps bulging from beneath a worn Army t-shirt. Sunglasses hide his eyes. Clay’s not worried. He was trained for events like these. Later, his children would find the photo in a frame neighbors gave his wife with “Fabio” scrawled across the bottom of the newspaper clipping.


The Year the Bridge Went Out by Margaret G. Hanna

“Ice’s going!”

Like moths to a flame, everyone ran to watch Pinto Creek, now a raging torrent. The rushing water heaved the thick ice which cracked and began to move toward the little bridge. Giant slabs rushed under the bridge but the rising water kept pushing them higher.

BAM! A floe rammed the bridge. It shuddered.

“Hope the bridge holds.”

The bridge became a dam, ice piling up against it till it could no longer bear the weight. It shuddered, then with a piercing shriek, twisted loose of its moorings, and was gone.

“How do we get to town?”


Entrapment by E.A. Colquitt

The snow-white cliffs had been bound in magic; it made them perfectly, unnaturally sheer.

As a result, the usually indomitable ocean bowed to them, for a change. Its waves moved by the wall of rock like some mechanical contraption’s spirit-level gauges: filling and emptying and filling again.

High tide meant high water. Walking the clifftop path, you could hear the ocean breathing mere metres away – plus a few feet below.

Of course, this was only possible on calm days. Storms brought nothing except the water crashing and roaring, spray skimming the top: the ocean, longing to be set free.


The Determination of Youth by Chel Owens

Water. People who lived by water -the ocean, a lake, or a wide river- knew water. People who lived by water loved it. They were not terrified by it.

Not so, me.

Landlocked. I did not live by water; did not know water. I did not love it. I was terrified by it.

I thought this; as I inched, grasping, toward my parents. My feet; then toes; then tiptoes felt the pool floor drop, my face cresting the water’s surface. I saw their bobbing forms.

I think.

I think I saw them, just before water drowned them from view.


Here’s Lookin At You Kid by D. Avery

“Kid! Yer back!”

“Hey Pal. Frankie, good ta see ya.”

“Good ta see you, Kid. Been keepin an eye out fer ya.”

“I see that. Yer sportin a eyepatch. Where’s yer prosthetic eye?”

“At the bunkhouse soakin in a highball glass. Spring cleanin.”

“Ah, hell, Frankie, I drank yer eye water. Thought thet was a ice cube in there.”

“Ha! Thinkin ya need ta git yer eyes checked, Pal.”

“Mebbe, Kid. I’ll tell ya though, yer sure a sight fer sore eyes. Ya done seein the world?”

“Nope. But I’m gonna view it from right here at Carrot Ranch.”


99 in Time by D. Avery

“Whoa. Stop. Backup. Ya mean ta tell me the prompt is ‘high water’? Not ‘eye water’?”

“Thinkin ya might git yer ears checked too, Pal. Okay, let’s respond ta this prompt so’s I kin git cleaned up an git rested from my travelin. Me an Curly’s hog-tired. Hey, where is Curly?”

“Look there, Kid. She’s down with her beaver friends, a-swimmin an a-wallowin in the pond.”

“Dam, them beavers has been busy! They’ve expanded the pond.”

“Yep. There’s some high water there now. Hey!”

“Yep. Check. Soon’s the word counts finished I’m headin in ta the bunkhouse.”

“G’night Kid.”


Thank you to all our writers who contributed to this week’s collection!

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  1. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    High marks to all who set the bar high for the high water prompt! Good stuff!

  2. Writing Sparkle

    Great contributions.

  3. Colleen M. Chesebro

    Wow! I’m always excited by the creativity of the stories. What great reads! Bravo to everyone!

  4. Jules

    A nice way to spend a few moments of a rainy Saturday morning… keeping moored with great writing!

  5. Norah

    Wonderful stories. You all went to great heights!

  6. E.A. Colquitt

    Still having trouble with the ‘like’ button here, but I loved this challenge. Great job, everyone 🙂

  7. lcrwpres

    Another great set of stories, and many author’s names new to me. Welcome. And thank goodness Kid is back. Yeah, the gang’s all here. Sue S.


  1. Entrapment – E.A. Colquitt - […] read the full collection, click here […]
  2. #99Word Stories; Beaver Slap | ShiftnShake - […] sure to go to Carrot Ranch to read the complete “High Water Collection” […]
  3. #99Word Stories; Beaver Slap 2 | ShiftnShake - […] sure to go to Carrot Ranch to read the complete “High Water Collection” […]

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